Eric Aybar Helps Rally Angels Past Cubs at Diablo Park

Eric Aybar (on an injury rehab assignment) singled and walked and scored two runs, Quentin Davis punched-out three RBI singles, and Jonathan Walsh belted a solo HR, as the Angels rallied to defeat the Cubs 7-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.

Dillon Maples got the start for the Cubs and allowed one run on two hits and two walks in three innings of work (50 pitches). He also struck out five and threw a wild pitch. His hammer-curve was virtually unhittable (as it usually is), and he was able to command his fastball somewhat better today than in previous outings.  

Josh Vitters continued his EXST rehab assignment, playing 3B for seven innings and batting five times. He flied out twice, grounded out, and reached base on an Eric Aybar error and on an HBP, and he also made an outstanding double-saving backhanded diving catch on the 3rd base line. He certainly looks like he's ready to return to Iowa.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

CUBS LINEUP:
X. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-4 (F-9, F-7, 4-3, E-6, HBP)
NOTE: Vitters batted five times, hitting 3rd in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th innings)
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-2 (BB, E-4, 1B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-1 (K)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, DH: 0-2 (HBP, 5-3, P-3, R)
2b. Carlos Escobar, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2c. Mark Malave, 3B: NO AB  
3a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (BB, BB, L-7, CS)
3b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-1 (F-8)
4a. Jose Dore, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
4b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, R)
5a. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
5b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (BB, 1-3, R)
6a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-2 (4-3, 3-U)
6b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
7a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (F-9, 1B)
7b. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (3-U, L-1, RBI)
8a. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-2 (3-U, 4-6 FC)
8b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (6-3)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Dillon Maples: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 50 pitches (31 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO 
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 27 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 7 pitches (5 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Trevor Gretzky - E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 20

WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's  

 

Comments

"Ian Stewart sat out Friday at Triple-A Iowa due to a sore elbow." he was HBP on thursday...day to day.

stewart back in the lineup tonight...0-3, 1bb also another error. that's 3 errors in 9 games...rust.

I may be revising my position that he couldn't do worse than what the Cubs have now.

leadoff triple (which should have only been a double and a m.stanton error, but official scoring decided to not saddle him with his 5th (wtf?) error on the year) followed by a wild pitch scoring the run. can the cubs play MIA every day?

speaking of stanton...tie game. 1st of the year...OVER the LCD video screen...massive.

...and the cubs take the lead back...playing MIA is fun.

If the Asstros were still in the central, the Cubs could be a .500 team.

...and it's a tie game. olivo HR

t.wood done after 91 pitches in order to pinch hit borbon with 2 outs and a man on 1st in a tie game in top 7...wtf...

borbon walks...dejesus singles in the run...everything is now genius level managing! good luck with the bullpen tonight, swainy. k.loe is set to get the call...that's the kind of guts that gives k.gregg 2 save chances to cash in.

Sveum pulled Wood after 80-something pitches last time, too. I wonder if Sveum is just afraid of over exposing him? He's a very good hitter.

k.gregg up in the pen getting ready for a save...lulz.

cubs win 3 in a row...4 out of 5. world series here we come!

All MLB.tv games are free today (Sunday).

One thing that grinds me about Rizzo is the way he takes so many called third strikes on borderline pitches. He needs to learn to protect better with two strikes. This is what is causing him to strike out so much.

watching him try to handle a slider, especially on the inside, is frightening. if the pitcher "misses" out over the plate or hangs it, though...it's awesome.

Cubs to whomever plays Miami after this: "We're sorry. We did not mean to wake up Giancarlo. But we're sure you'll be okay anyway."

Line drive should have hit Castro in the head, possibly wake him up.

He's been playing good defense recently though. Offensively I'm wondering if both him and Rizzo have suffered from being young, ordained stars on a team expected to fail and wanting to do too much. Players like that hate losing and I've read with Castro a lot that he's worked his butt off to get better everywhere. No way to prove it but gotta be a huge amount of pressure on them to succeed.

Well, recently in that he'll make a web-gem play, then cost his team the game or his pitcher 20 more pitches needlessly with his next error. He can hit though, and this certainly can cover a lot of shit.

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  • crunch 3 hours 1 min ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.

     

  • bradsbeard 6 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 57 min ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.

     

  • Hagsag 18 hours 7 min ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 

     

  • azbobbop 1 day 48 min ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.

     

  • tim815 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN

     

  • Childersb3 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    AzP,

    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.

     

  • tim815 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.

     

  • crunch 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.

     

  • Cubster 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.